Proposal For New Bob Jones University Athletic Mascot

Hey, look, I get to write another post about sports mascots! The last one was about plants serving as rugby mascots, which was fun, but this will be way more interesting and fun. According to the Greenville News, Bob Jones University is finally stepping out into the world of intercollegiate athletics!

Bob Jones is a fundamentalist school here in the Upstate of South Carolina. Most people haven't heard of the school, but those who have know of it because of its policies against interracial dating. The policy was dropped in 2000, but, as the news testified recently, that sort of thinking is still all too common in fundamentalist circles.

I do want to say that my view of Bob Jones has actually softened while I've been here. There has been a lot of progress made in recent years (this athletic move is part of that), and most of the kids who attend the school are just regular Christian kids. Their sports program until now has consisted of intramural competition between Houses (obligatory "fraternities"), and I've played pick-up basketball at the BJU gym. I don't know if I was allowed to, but I acted like I was. Those dudes loved basketball. Which means they're not the bug-eyed monsters one might imagine. They're just kids.

Half my friends up here are BJU grads. They don't live the BJU way, that's for sure, but many of them love their alma mater and are heartened by the real progress they see being made at the school.

All that being said, it's time to select a mascot for the new Bob Jones University athletic program.

Fifteen years ago it would have been amusing to nominate the Zebra as the mascot.

With each passing year I become more and more disgusted by Christian fundamentalism. Every year I hear more and more stories of the abuse of women and children. Violence, sexual abuse, and cover-up. It's not Bob Jones that I am becoming more disgusted with, it's fundamentalism. Alas, BJU might be moving slowly out of that world, but it is still part of it.

Christians are, of course, supposed to give strength to the weary. The strong are supposed to honor and give way to the weak. It is always a temptation for the strong to live out a dynamic of power, but Christians must resist it. I have not encountered a group who more consistently turns a deaf ear to the cry of the weak and keeps the mighty enthroned with no questions asked than this group. And yes, I have read all those stories about Catholic priests.

Anyway, I'm not making an in-depth case for the misogyny and abuse in fundamentalism and at BJU. I am writing an amusing post about mascots! So turn on your lulz, everybody, and smile!

Here it is:

The Bob Jones University Sea Otters.

It works, trust me. Here's the necessary scholarship.
Male otters will often grab pups away from their mothers and only give them up when mom comes up with some [food].

During mating, a male will often bite a female's nose and hold on for dear life. Even more disgusting, sometimes females die from the experience. But we have yet to reach the ne plus ultra level of disgustingness. You would think that the demise of your love interest might put the kibosh on mating, but male otters are so single-minded, their minds so like testosterone-drenched jelly donuts, that they sometimes continue mating with a dead female.

According to a paper by B. B. Hatfield et al. (Marine Mammal Science, 1994, vol. 10, pp. 114-116), off the coast of southern California, there are male sea otters that have attempted to have sex with, well, with harbor seals. I know, I know, this is illegal in every state in the Union except, perhaps, Mississippi, but are we really surprised to hear that "Sea Rats" are capable of this?

As an example, between 1989 and 1992, an otter named BB tried to mate with 6 newly-weaned harbor seals at San Nicolas Island. The otter would pounce on each animal, seize it with his mouth and forepaws, then try to have its way. Nothing much seemed to happen and after a while "interactions with harbor seals were usually interrupted when BB released the seals to groom, although seals did occasionally struggle free." So, not only did BB abduct defenseless little harbor seals, not only did he try to make free with them, he would also soon throw them over in favor of combing his hair. There are so many examples of poor role modelling here that I am at a loss to know where to begin.

So there you have it. Our mascots ought to embody the ethics and values that we treasure the most. I can think of no better animal to represent Bob Jones than the Sea Otters. But there is hope. A decade ago, the Zebras. Now, the Sea Otters. Maybe, one day, by God's grace, the Eagles.

Unless someone wants to write a post about the nasty habits of eagles.


  1. Amazing when BJU is mentioned, the writer always reminds us of it's segregationist past (even here in this area when stories of the school find their way to our local paper). What never seems to be mentioned tho with every news story is that our own local public schools did not allow blacks to attend until 1971.

  2. I understand that there's a cultural context. Thirty years passed. And I continue to hear kinist arguments from fundamentalists all the time. The world may have an excuse, but we're not the world.


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